Livestock Risk Protection
Ø Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance is a single-peril
insurance program offered by the Risk Management Agency
(RMA) if USDA through commercial crop or livestock
Ø An LRP policy protects producers from adverse price changes
in the underlying livestock market.
Ø LRP is currently available in all counties of 37 states.
How LRP Works
Ø A producer must submit an LRP policy application through an
authorized crop or livestock insurance vendor.
Ø Insurance vendors must have completed an RMA training program
to become authorized.
Ø The application process establishes a producer’s eligibility by
documenting his or her substantial beneficial interest in the cattle.
A producer with a partial interest in a group or pen of cattle may
independently insure his or her portion.
Ø After completing the policy application, producers select a
coverage price and endorsement length that meets their risk
Ø The coverage price is a percentage of the expected ending value.
This value and the associated rates are based on the current day’s
closing futures prices, volume and volatility; they correspond to
separate endorsement lengths.
How LRP Works cont.
Ø Endorsement lengths are in increments of about 30 days from
13 to 52 weeks. Both feeder cattle and fed cattle producers
will want to purchase price risk insurance with an ending date
of coverage that meets their risk management objectives.
Ø Feeder cattle producers may want the end date of coverage
to match the expected date the cattle will be sold or moved
to a feedlot.
Ø Fed cattle producers, on the other hand, will want to match
the ending date of coverage with the anticipated date the
cattle will be ready for slaughter.
How LRP Works cont.
Ø LRP coverage does not begin until a Specific Coverage Endorsement (SCE)
is submitted and accepted by RMA. The submission of the SCE to the RMA
is done online after the application has been accepted. The SCE specifies
the elected coverage price, the specific number of head covered, and the
length of coverage.
Ø LRP policies require that sales be allowed from the time rates are set and
validated to 9:00 a.m. Central time the following day. Once the SCE is
accepted, the coverage is in place and a premium is due. If, at the ending
date of coverage, the Actual End Value has dropped below the selected
coverage price, the producer can claim an indemnity but must file for it
within 60 days. The indemnity will be paid whether or not the cattle were
sold by the ending date of coverage. However, selling the cattle more
than 30 days before the end of coverage will terminate the policy unless
the insurance provider has specifically approved the sale. Cattle seized,
quarantined, destroyed or not salable because of death or disease will still
be covered by the policy if written notice of the circumstances is provided
within 72 hours.
How LRP Works cont.
Ø It is crucial for producers to understand that the ending value
of the LRP contract is not the cash price received or a closing
futures price as of the end date of the policy.
Ø The LRP-Feeder Cattle policy uses the Chicago Mercantile
Exchange feeder cattle price index as the actual end value.
This cash-settled commodity index is a mathematical
calculation that averages the headcounts, weights and prices
from numerous livestock sales across the nation to determine
its settlement price.
Ø The LRP-Fed Cattle policy uses a weekly weighted average of
the slaughter cattle prices in five areas as reported by the
Agricultural Marketing Service.
Ø Feeder cattle policies insure all feeder cattle weighing up to
900 pounds. They will cover heifers and Brahma and dairy
breeds. A fixed percentage price adjustment factor (PAF) is
used to adjust the expected ending values and coverage price
from standard weight, beef breed feeder cattle for various
combinations of lightweight heifers or non-beef breeds.
Ø LRP-Fed Cattle policies provide coverage for fed cattle that
will weigh 1,000 to 1,400 pounds at slaughter.
Table 1. Key LRP Web sites
LRP agent locator http://www3.rma.usda.gov/apps/agents/
LRP premium locator http://www3.rma.usda.gov/apps/premcalc/
Endorsement lengths, coverage prices, http://www3.rma.usda.gov/apps/livestock_reports/m
rates and end dates
CME Feeder Cattle Index http://www.cme.com/trading/dta/hist/cash_settled_
AMS five-area, weekly weighted average
for direct slaughter cattle
Table 2. Price Adjustment Factor for LRP-Feeder
Weight range Steers Heifers Brahman Dairy
<6.0 cwt. 110% 100% 100% 100%
6.0 – 9.0 cwt. 100% 90% 90% 80%
Table 3. Contract Specifics for LRP-Fed Cattle and
LRP-Feeder Cattle policies
LRP-Fed Cattle LRP-Feeder Cattle
Yield Grade 1 to 3, 10 to Heifers and steers,
Insurable Cattle 14 cwt. Up to 9 cwt.
End value based on 5-area weekly weighted
(revised daily) average for slaughter cattle CMW feeder cattle index
as reported by AMS
Authorized endorsement 13 to 52 weeks 13 to 52 weeks
Coverage Levels 70 to 100% 70 to 100%
Premium subsidy 13% 13%
Maximum head insured 2,000 1,000
Maximum insured per crop 4,000 2,000
Example 1. LRP-Feeder Cattle for a West
Texas Cow-calf Producer
In mid-October, the owner of a 340-head cow-calf operation is
buying an LRP-Feeder Cattle policy for his current calf crop. The
calves are typically weaned (88 percent calf crop) about September
15 each year and carried over to the middle of January before the
producer decides whether to market them, retain ownership for
additional winter grazing, or move them to a feedlot. It is
estimated that by mid-January the steer calves will average 700
pounds and the heifers will average 650 pounds. Coverage will be
purchased on all of the heifers, including those that will be
retained as replacements. This producer has no partners and owns
100 percent of the calves. This producer will use actuarial data
from the RMA on October 15, 2007, which is shown in Table 4.
Table 4. LRP Expected End Values, Coverage Prices, Levels, Rates,
and Contract End Dates for October 15, 2007
Livestock Expected Coverage Coverage Cost per
type end value price level Rate Cwt. End Date
Steers $113.819 $107.97 .9486 .014411 $1.556 01/14/2008
Heifers $102.437 $97.17 .9486 .014411 $1.40 01/14/2008
Table 5. The Insured Value Calculation
(The Insured Value = Number of Head multiplied by the Target Weight (live
weight, in cwt) multiplied by the Coverage Price multiplied by Ownership Share.
Number of Target weight Coverage price Insured Insured
head (whole X at end date X (as shown on X Share = Value
number) (cwt per head) Table 4) (x.xxxx) ($)
150 steers X 7.00 cwt X $107.97 X 1.00 = $113,369
150 heifers X 6.50 cwt X $97.17 X 1.00 = $94,741
Total insured value = $208,110
Table 6. The Total Premium Calculation
(The Total Premium = Insured Value multiplied by the Rate)
Insured value x Rate = Total premium
($) (as shown in Table 4) ($)
Steers $113,369 x .014411 = $1,634
Heifers $94,741 x .014411 = $1,365
Total premium = $2,999
Table 7. The Subsidy Calculation
(The Subsidy = Total Premium multiplied by the Subsidy Rate)
Total premium X Subsidy = Subsidy
($) (percent) ($)
$2,999 X .130 = $390
Table 8. The Producer Premium Calculation
(The Producer Premium = Total Premium minus the Subsidy)
Total Premium x Subsidy = Producer Premium
($) ($) ($)
$2,999 x $390 = $2,609
Assume that on the end date of coverage, the CME feeder cattle index has dropped to
$103.50 per cwt. Since the actual ending value is less than the coverage price ($107.97 -
$103.50 = $4.47), an indemnity is due the producer on the insured steers. The PAF for
heifers is applied to the actual ending value ($103.50 x 90% = $93.15). Again, an indemnity
is due on the heifer calves ($97.17 - $93.15 = $4.02). The indemnity is equal to the number
of head multiplied by the target weight (in cwt as defined in the specific coverage
endorsements), multiplied by the difference between the coverage price and the actual
ending value (in dollars per cwt), and then multiplied by ownership share (percentage).
Table 9. Indemnity Calculation
Number of x Target weight at x Coverage price minus x Insured =
head (whole end date (cwt per Actual ending value Share Indemnity
number) head) (x.xxxx) ($)
150 steers x 7.00 cwt x $4.47 x 1.00 = $4,693
150 heifers x 6.50 cwt x $4.02 x 1.00 = $3,919
Total indemnity = $8,612
Attractive Attributes of LRP Policies
Ø The fact that policies will be sold at the rates ($ cost per cwt)
quoted on the RMA website will appeal to producers who
have tried to purchase a CME put option but failed because of
light trading on that particular day or simply not being able to
get an order placed and filled at the desired price.
Ø LRP policies can be tailored to fit producers of different sizes.
Ø The subsidized premium of an LRP policy may also appeal to
Disadvantages of LRP Policies
Ø LRP is basically an insurance policy. Once this policy has been
purchased and is in place, it cannot be offset or exercised until the
end date of coverage.
Ø Local basis risk is still an issue facing producers who use LRP
policies. Increased investor interest in the commodity markets may
be widening local basis and making it less predictable. The
difference in basis is not likely to increase the utility of LRP to Texas
Ø Feeder cattle producers who want to buy coverage at the same
time cattle are purchased and producers who want to buy LRP
coverage at the most distant end dates of coverage may find their
choices of coverage prices limited.
Ø RMA also retains the right to suspend the sale of LRP policies if the
market becomes unstable.
Ø LRP is an insurance tool that may help with risk management
role once a producer identifies his risk management
objectives (risk tolerance, cost parameters, etc.) and
understands the limitations of LRP.
Ø Producers will need to learn to evaluate LRP in comparison
with other risk management strategies that use CME futures
and option contracts at different periods in the production
Ø LRP policies are intended to insure against a drop in the
underlying livestock market.
Ø LRP policies also do not guarantee a cash price or basis level
for the local market.